Like it or loathe it, perception is everything

Is your business the Leisel Jones of your industry POST


The recent brouhaha over Leisel Jones’s apparent weight gain and how this might impact her performance at the Olympics inspired this week’s Enterprise post.

So you’ve been successful. You’ve won a few awards. You’ve dominated your competitors. But now, things are a little different. You’ve been around for a while and, to some people, you’re looking a little like you don’t care any more.

Maybe you’ve taken easy street and don’t have the hunger you once had. Or perhaps you’re so confident in your abilities that you simply know that you’re going to blitz the field, regardless of the fact that you don’t look like you have what it takes.

It happens with Olympians. And it happens with businesses. If you believe the naysayers, swimmer Leisel Jones is out of form. If you’re a supporter, you’re convinced that her recent apparent weight gain is not going to make one iota of difference to her athletic performance. I’ll be the first to put my hand up to say that I have no idea whether Jones’s new look will have an impact on her medal chances. She’s got one shot at it in the coming weeks. She’ll make it – or she won’t – and then the brouhaha will be over.

However, when you are running a business, it doesn’t work that way. If you don’t appear like you can deliver the goods, this is going to affect your image, personal brand and, ultimately, sales. You see, human beings are a judgemental lot. We judge books by their covers. We believe that first impressions count. Our perception is our reality. And we want our heroes … to look like heroes.

You can read the rest of the post here.

About Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is founder and national director of the Australian Writers' Centre, the country's leading centre for writing courses. She is a journalist, blogger and author. Her latest book is "Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business" (Wiley). Valerie is a keynote speaker, small business commentator, and investor and mentor to startups and businesses in Australia.